Due to an increase in the number of cases in the second phase of COVID-19, the UPSC Civil Service Examination 2021 Prelims, which was originally planned for 27 June 2021, has been postponed for 10 October 2021.

While this offers candidates more time to study, it also increases worry and tension among those who are preparing for the test.

So, how to benefit from the current scenario of the Covid 19 pandemic? How should one deal with the UPSC exam date being postponed? Find all the answers in the sections below.

UPSC Syllabus

Check out the UPSC syllabus in the sections below:

General Studies Paper-I Syllabus

It consists of 100 questions that cover the following topics and are worth a maximum of 200 points if completed in two hours.

# Current events of National & International importance.

# History of India & Indian National Movement.

# Indian & World Geography – Physical, Social, Economic Geography of India & the World.

# Indian Polity & Governance – Constitution, Political System, Panchayati Raj, Public Policy, Rights Issues, etc.

# Economic & Social Development – Sustainable Development, Poverty, Inclusion, Demographics, Social Sector Initiatives, etc.

# General issues on Environmental ecology, Biodiversity & climate change – that do not require subject specialization.

# General Science.

General Studies Paper-II Syllabus

It consists of 80 questions from the following topics for a total of 200 marks that must be answered in two hours.

# Comprehension.

# Interpersonal skills including communication skills.

# Logical reasoning & analytical ability.

# Decision making & problem solving.

# General mental ability.

# Basic numeracy (numbers & their relations, orders of magnitude, etc.) (Class X level), Data interpretation (charts, graphs, tables, data sufficiency, etc. – Class X level)

UPSC Exam Pattern and Total Marks

#1. Preliminary Exam

#2. Mains Exam

#3. The Interview

Qualifying Papers Total Marks
Paper A 300
Paper B 300
Paper I Essay 250
Paper II General Studies I 250
Paper III General Studies II 250
Paper IV General Studies III 250
Paper V General Studies IV 250
Paper VI Optional Subject Paper I 250
Paper VII Optional Subject Paper II 250
Written Test 1750
Personality Test 275
Grand Total 2025

Also Read: UPSC Prelims Cut Off 2020 Expectations: Effect of Covid 19 on UPSC Prelims

How Should One Deal with the UPSC Exam Date Being Postponed?

Keep Yourself Motivated

The single most crucial factor that distinguishes success from failure during UPSC preparation is having self-confidence and being motivated. Each of the successful officer candidates has a motivating narrative to share, so believe in yourself and write your own history, which will serve as a motivation tale for future generations, and you will even have another paragraph about how you kept yourself inspired throughout COVID 19.

UPSC Preparation is the First Training

The practice for one’s journey as an IAS officer began during one’s preparation. Managing time effectively, setting small goals and achieving them daily to achieve a larger goal, learning from failures, and managing various pulls and structural factors in day-to-day life are all aspects of one’s life as an officer.

Take, for example, the delay of prelims, when COVID has disrupted nearly every pre-planned administrative operation. An officer must learn to deal with the unexpected and not allow the unknown to obstruct the known objectives. So here is your chance to show that you can handle the ship even in the most unexpected and uncharted sea of unforeseen events.

Focus on Mains Syllabus Next

UPSC has a credibility for sticking to the schedule, even in the worst of circumstances, so there is a chance that UPSC Mains will be held in a very short time after prelims, necessitating the use of the extra time allotted before Prelims to completely cover the Optional as well as the static portion of the Mains.

This will not only spare you from the drowsiness of missed prelims, but it will also increase the degree of detail necessary for certain extremely essential topics that appear in both the Prelims and the Mains.

Take a Look Beyond the COVID Horizon

Mostly all UPSC preparation materials are flooded with COVID-related blog posts and material, but one must be able to see through COVID; while it is an important issue that should be discussed in detail, the syllabus demands far more, and there are critical problems that occur on a daily basis that are not adequately covered in the UPSC source materials; thus, one must be very vigilant and therefore should be able to see through COVID.

The Significance of The Coming Months

The significance of the next 2 to 3 months stems from the fact that they will be crucial in terms of current events for both Prelims and Mains, and hence one should prepare the themes in both breadth and depth.

Discussion Among Friends

To avoid the probable lethargy of extended Prelims preparation, smaller study groups and peers may be used to discuss the themes. Previous year papers and sample online test series can also be used to keep the pace going.

Also Read: UPSC EPFO 2021 Exam Postponed: Here’s Everything Important about the Latest UPSC Notification

How to Make a Time Table for The Same?

Day Time

30 minutes of morning exercise might help you concentrate better.

Read the newspaper to keep up with current events and business issues while also developing your reading abilities.

Approximately 2 hours: Start Review everything you learned the day before and make a list of any difficult issues you encountered, then go through it again as a morning activity to help you stay focused.

The study duration is 2 hours.

Before 2:30 p.m., you should be able to devote at least 4 hours to study as well as time to study new topics.

Evening to Night Time

Make sure you get breakfast, a break, and lunch, as well as 4 hours of study time before 2: 30 p.m.

From 2:30 p.m. until 5:00 p.m., continue your study.

5:00–7:00 p.m. Enjoy some nibbles while spending time with your family and friends.

7:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. Because you’ll be exhausted, try to read lighter things.

9:00 p.m. – Eat light meals to get a good night’s sleep.

9:30 p.m. – 10:00 p.m. Keep an eye on good news debates.

10:00 p.m. – 10:30 p.m. Before going to bed, listen to some music to help you relax.

10:30 p.m. – Go to bed

Revision Planning for Last 2 Months

Set Aside Two Months Just for Revision

The final two months leading up to the test should be spent reviewing the static and current events syllabus. All of the references should be properly read. Prepare a daily, weekly, and monthly studying plan based on your time slots to cover the supplied references in the following two months. You can also use the schedule provided below as a guide.

Mock Exam for Practice

The last month should be spent completely revising and practising questions from mock exams and previous year’s assessments. Revise your main concepts and prepare notes by taking as many mock examinations as feasible.

No New Study Resources

Now may not be the time to begin learning a new subject or using a new study resource. Aspirants frequently consult numerous sources for current events, and they frequently seek new sites to ensure that they do not miss any current events. It is critical that applicants use only legitimate current affairs resources and refrain from consulting any new books or websites.

Points to Remember While Revision Planning

# The study schedule is organised according to the UPSC Syllabus and is simple to follow.

# Make your own timeline to carry out the study plan; this will assist you in allocating the most time wisely.

# This study plan is Just for revision, which applicants should keep in mind when completing it.

# Keep in mind that all themes and topics are important and should not be overlooked.

# Take frequent breaks and intervals to keep the preparations from becoming tedious or burdensome.

# Maintain a decent nutritious diet and get enough sleep to keep your energy in good shape.

# This study plan is only a suggestion; you can adapt or modify it according to your degree of preparedness.

Also Read: UPSC Interview Postponed: A Change in the Dates of the Interview/ Personality Exam

How to Make a Revision TimeTable?

# Calculate the amount of time you have to revise.

# Make a list of your most important themes or topics.

# Divide subjects into subtopics.

# Set aside 30 minutes for revision.

# What should you do throughout each revision session?

# Maintain your adaptability.

# Make your schedule realistic.

Booklist for UPSC CSE Prelims

Although your UPSC booklist may vary according to your prior knowledge and skill, here is a comprehensive UPSC booklist that both new and experienced UPSC candidates may use for their UPSC preparation requirements. Some of the books are likely to be useful for both the Prelims and the Mains. Before looking at the booklist, make sure you’re familiar with the curriculum and test format. Also, find the answers to the query of what kind of extra studies one should do for UPSC.

The UPSC booklist to refer to when studying for the CSE Prelims test is included in the table below.

Prelims Booklist

Paper Booklist
General Studies Class 8th-12th NCERTs of History, Geography & Polity 
India’s Struggle for Independence written by Bipan Chandra
Certificate of Physical Geography written by GC Leong
Indian Polity written by M Laxmikanth
Indian Economy written by Ramesh Singh
The Hindu, Yojana Magazine and Kurukshetra Magazine
Oxford World Atlas
International Relations NCERT XI and XII
Indian Culture Spectrum
NIOS Course Materials
CSAT Verbal & Non-Verbal Reasoning written by RS Agarwal
Quicker Maths by M.Tyra
English Grammar & Composition by Wren & Martin

Mains Booklist

Paper  Booklist
General Studies I India’s Struggle for Independence by Bipan Chandra
India After Independence by Bipan Chandra
Ancient India by RS Sharma
History of Medieval India by Satish Chandra
From Plassey To Partition And After 
Introduction to Indian Art for Class XI (NCERT)
Geography of India by Majid Hussain
World Geography by Majid Hussain
Oxford Atlas
Central Physical and Human Geography by GC Leong
Geography NCERTs (Class XI  and XII)
General Studies II Indian Polity by M Laxmikanth
Constitution of India by DD Basu
India’s Foreign Policy by Rajiv Sikri
General Studies III Indian Economy by Ramesh Singh
General Studies IV Ethics, Integrity & Aptitude by Subba Rao and PN Rao Chaudhry

Also Read: How to Prepare for Civil Services Interview 2021? The Best Tips to Prepare for UPSC Interview

NCERT Booklist for UPSC


Our Past, Class VI

Our Past -I, Class VII

Our Past II and III, Class VIII

India and the Contemporary World – I, Class IX

India and the Contemporary World – II, Class X

Themes In World History, Class XI

Themes In Indian History – I, Class XII

Themes in Indian History – II, Class XII

Themes In Indian History – III, Class XII

Art & Culture

An Introduction to Indian Art, Class XI

Living Craft Traditions of India, Class XI


Democratic Politics Part – I, Class IX

Democratic Politics Part – II, Class X

Indian Constitution at Work, Class XI

Political Theory, Class XI

Contemporary World Politics, Class XII

Politics in India since Independence, Class XII


The Earth Our Habitat, Class VI

Our Environment, Class VII

Resource and Development, Class VIII

Contemporary India – I, Class IX

Contemporary India – II, Class X

Fundamentals of Physical Geography, Class XI

India – Physical Environment, Class XI

Fundamentals of Human Geography, Class XII

India – People and Economy, Class XII


Economics, Class IX

Understanding Economic Development, Class X

Indian Economic Development, Class XI

Introductory Microeconomics, Class XII

Introductory Macroeconomics, Class XII

Environment & Ecology

Biology Class XII (Last 4 chapters)

Optional Books for UPSC


A History of Ancient and Early Medieval India (Author: Upinder Singh)

Medieval India (2 volumes) (Author: Satish Chandra)

Medieval India: The Study of a Civilization (Author: Irfan Habib)

India’s Struggle for Independence (Author: Bipan Chandra)

India since Independence (Author: Bipan Chandra)

From Plassey to Partition (Author: Shekhar Bandhopadhyay)

Mastering Modern World History (Author: Norman Lowe)

A History of the Modern World (Author: Ranjan Chakrabarti)

Also read: UPSC Interview Questions of Toppers and Interview Tips to Achieve your UPSC Dream


Physical Geography (Author: Savindra Singh)

Physical Geography Made Simple (Author: Rupa Publication)

Evolution of Geographical Thought (Author: Majid Husain)

Models in Geography (Author: Majid Husain)

Certificate in Physical and Human Geography (Author: G C Leong)

Economic and Social Geography Made Simple (Author: Rupa Publication)

Dictionary of Human Geography

Regional Planning in India (Author: Mahesh Chand)

A Comprehensive Geography (Author: Khuller)

Public Administration

Administrative Thinkers (Writer: Prasad and Prasad)

Public Administration and Public Affairs (Writer: Nicholas Henry)

Essentials of Organizational Behavior (Writer: Stephen P Robbins)

New Horizons of Public Administration (Writer: Mohit Bhattacharya)

IGNOU material

Indian Administration (Writer: R K Arora, Rajni Goyal)

Ethics in Governance (Writer: R K Arora)

Public Administration in India (Writer: Fadia and Fadia)


Sociology (written by Anthony Giddens)

Sociological Thought (written by Francis Abraham and John Henry Morgan)

Political Theory (written by O P Gauba)


Handbook of Indian Sociology (written by Veena Das)

Modernization of Indian Tradition (written by Yogendra Singh)

Rural Sociology (written by Doshi and Jain)

Indian Society and Culture (written by Nadeem Hasnain)

Social Change in India (written by M N Srinivas)

Caste: It’s Twentieth Century Avatar (written by M N Srinivas)


Physical Anthropology (authored by: P Nath and B M Das)

Indian Anthropology (authored by: Nadeem Hasnain and  V S Sahay and Pradeep K Singh

Social Anthropology (authored by: Ember Makhan Jha)

Anthropological Thought (authored by: Upadhyay and Pandey)

Political Science

Our Constitution by Subhash Kashyap

Our Parliament by Subhash Kashyap

History of Political Thought by Mukherjee and Ramaswamy

Political Theory by O P Gauba

Indian Political Thought by Mahendra Prasad and Himanshu Roy

Politics in India by Rajni Kothari

Indian Foreign Policy by Gupta and Shukla

United Nations by Rumki Basu


Microeconomics by Ahuja and Koutsyansis

International Economics by Salvatore

Macroeconomics by H L Ahuja

Money and Banking by Gupta and Ahuja

Indian Economy by Datt and Sundaram

Indian Economy by Mishra and Puri

Indian Economy Performance and Policies by Uma Kapila

Economic Survey

Business newspapers


And that’s how you should benefit from the postponement of the exam and prepare yourself accordingly. Make a well-planned timetable to keep track of your preparation. Along with this, it is important to choose the right type of study materials or books. Check out the all-in-one courses designed by experts from UPSC Pathshala to get a step ahead in the UPSC preparation. For better understanding, book a Free Demo for yourself right now!

Also Read: UPSC Prelims Cut Off Last 5 Years: Here’s the Total Marks & 2019, 2020 Cut Off

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Madhurjya Chowdhury

Madhurjya Chowdhury, a web content writer in Ufaber EduTech has a very strong passion for writing and alluring the readers. You can find him writing articles for the betterment of exam aspirants and children. With immense interest in research-based content writing and copywriting, he likes to reach out to more and more people with his creative writing style. On the other side, he is an Electronics and Communication Engineer from LPU, Jalandhar. In his leisure time, he likes to play badminton or read about space discoveries. Apart from this, he is a pro gamer on PC, PS and Mobile gaming platforms.

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